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Emporia State will begin a new initiative to combat the ongoing novel coronavirus—voluntary student surveillance testing, according to an email out to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 9.

According to the email sent out by James Williams, Vice President for Student Affairs, ESU will begin testing next week. There will be three test dates through the semester. The test dates are: Sept. 16-17, Oct. 7-8 and Oct. 28-29.  

“The objective is to test 350 to 450 students each surveillance testing date to get an idea of how prevalent the coronavirus is in the student body,” said Kelly Heine, chief marketing officer of marketing and media relations.

The Information Technology department has a randomized program to send out email invitations to students for the first testing date in the following days.  

“They will select a number greater than 350 to 450 knowing that not everybody will volunteer,” Heine said. “It’s most important to get a good number of folks to take the voluntary test.” 

Students who volunteer will take another saliva test, the same one ESU received a mass testing grant for at the beginning of August.

“This valuable information will be useful for decision making purposes as the semester continues and will be reported on the weekly COVID-19 dashboard,” Williams said in the email.  

Each round of tests are supported by the IT Department, Biology Department, ESU Student Health Center and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs.

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